Long gone are the days when rolling a joint, packing a bowl, or baking hash brownies were the only ways to consume cannabis. Now, extracts and concentrates are starting to take center stage, and it’s about time, too, given how potent they can be. One option, in particular, has led the way— shatter.
If you are a true weed connoisseur, you’ve likely already heard of it and have probably even tried it out. But for those who are starting their journey into the world of cannabis concentrates, this is an excellent place to start.
What is Shatter?
Marijuana shatter is a form of concentrate with the appearance of solidified honey, though often with a brighter, amber hue. It is aptly named ‘shatter’ for its often glass-like, brittle nature, although its consistency can vary due to factors like storage and moisture in the air.
its actual texture typically depends on its cannabinoid profile. Gooey shatter tends to have higher THC levels because the THC has a thick, sappy texture at room temperature, whereas shatter with higher levels of THCA is more solid at room temperature.
Shatter first hit the cannabis scene here in Canada in the late 1990s, and you could argue that shatter paved the way for other modern extracts like live resin and distillate.
Today, it’s a regular staple among ganja aficionados, and you can even order it online, along with other popular weed products.
Cannabis Concentrates Overview
Let’s quickly run through what cannabis concentrates are.
Concentrates are what you get when you extract the cannabinoids and other desirable components from marijuana flower. They’re basically a mix of cannabinoids like THC, CBD, CBN, along with terpenes and flavonoids, which makes them super potent.
Common types of cannabis concentrate include oils, waxes, creams, and shatters. The kind of bud and the extraction technique determines the texture and consistency of these concentrates.
Solvent-based extractions using butane or propane are popular due to their effectiveness in separating the plant matter’s psychoactive compounds. The concentrates produced using this method typically have high THC levels and firmer consistency.
With all this talk about shatter, you’re probably wondering, ‘how is it made?’ so let’s look at both solvent and non-solvent extraction techniques for making it.
How Shatter is made
Solvent-Based Butane Hash Oil Extraction Method
BHO, as this method is popularly called, utilizes butane to pull out the medicinal and psychoactive compounds from the cannabis plant. Top-quality shatter requires top-shelf flowers as they contain the highest THC levels in the plant.
The first thing you should note is that making BHO shatter is not without risks as butane and propane are highly flammable and can explode if you’re not careful, and that’s why you should leave this method of making shatter to the experts.
In a nutshell, making BHO shatter involves flushing cannabis trim or flower with a solvent like butane to extract the cannabinoids and terpenes, and then purging the extract of all of the butane through evaporation to make sure none is left behind.
Non-Solvent Extraction Method
This method poses far fewer risks compared to BHO extraction and is typically quicker too. The tradeoff here is that you may not get as much shatter, and the quality may not be as high. Still, it is not a bad way to kick off your shatter-making experience.
- Ground premium marijuana buds (You can also substitute this with kief—the fine, powder-like substance high in cannabinoids and terpenes that settles on the floor of your grinder)
- A reliable hair straightener
- Parchment paper
Step 1 – Pour the ground buds or kief on the parchment paper and fold in a tight square. Make sure there are no spaces or air pockets anywhere within the square, only the buds. Fold another sheet of parchment over the square, making sure it is still tight.
Step 2 – Turn on the hair straightener and let it sit for a few minutes. Next, put on the gloves and place the hot hair straightener on the table or a hard flat surface. Place the square between the clamps and press down hard against the table for 10 to 15 seconds.
Step 3 – Repeat a few times until you start to notice the oil accumulating along the paper’s edges. Carefully unfold it, and you’ll see the gooey extract inside the paper.
Allow to cool, scrape away, and repeat the process to get more.
Shatter vs. Other Concentrates
Whereas shatter features a stiff, glass-like texture, wax comes with a creamy, sometimes crumbly texture, depending on whipping intensity during the evaporation process. The THC quality pretty much stays the same.
Of course, cannabis oil is in liquid form and comes in different levels of viscosity and potency. Plus, you can easily substitute it for your cooking oil to make some mean cannabis edibles, or you can make your own cannabutter or infused coconut oil for cooking as well.
Making Shatter FAQ
What about shatter vs. weed?
Shatter contains the most desirable aspects of weed, without the other plant material, and it’s more potent than flower.
When you use it, it’s usually dabbed or vaporized, which means you’re not burning the plant material you do when smoking weed, making it easier on the lungs.
What’s the best way to use it?
Dabbing is the ideal way to consume shatter. However, you can also use it in a joint, blunt, or vape pen if you don’t have a dabbing rig.
Is it safe to smoke?
Dabbing or vaping heats the substance at much lower temperatures, making them comparatively safer for your lungs than joints and bongs. The important thing is to make sure the shatter is completely butane free before toking it.
How much is shatter in Canada?
Prices tend to vary depending on the quality of the marijuana flowers used in the process. That doesn’t mean that if you come across cheap shatter, it’s automatically low quality, but it’s a definite possibility.
Does it smell like weed when smoking?
Not quite. Vaping shatter comes with its own distinct aroma, though the pungency will often depend on the plant’s terpene and flavonoid levels.
Where to Buy Shatter
Right here, of course! Check out our shatter products to find an option that suits your needs.
At XpressGrass, we pride ourselves on providing value through carefully curated cannabis products and accessories.
We offer same-day deliveries in areas across Metro Vancouver and the Lower Mainland area. For more information, please visit our FAQ page or contact us.
Try Shatter Today
There you have it—what shatter is and how to make it. Ready to give it a go? Tell us about your experience, and remember, if you don’t have the time or equipment necessary to make it at home, you can always buy premium-grade shatter by the gram, here at XpressGrass.